Archive for the 'Texas Master Naturalist' Category

Landscaping for Wildlife

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Wildscapes are beautiful and beneficial.

This is Passport to Texas

Whether you have an apartment balcony or large backyard, you can take simple steps to help improve habitat for wildlife. It’s called “wildscaping.” Texas Parks and Wildlife provides online resources to help Texans begin landscaping their property for wildlife. And, really, you can start small. As small as a pot of native flowering plants.

The information can guide you with things like creating a humming-bird or butterfly garden; you can also find recommended plant lists for your part of the state.

Even a small patch of butterfly attracting flowers is a great way to start. Speaking from experience… there is nothing more magical than rolling up your driveway after work to see your garden alive with butterflies. Makes me smile every single time.

Essentially, what you’ll want to do is to provide food, water and shelter for the critters that come calling. And the more of this wildscape habitat that you provide, the more wildlife you’ll attract.

One of Texas Parks and Wildlife’s urban biologists, Kelly Simon, wrote an informative book on the subject, aptly titled: Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife.

Also check out the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for classes, tours and demonstrations featuring wildscapes.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Become a Partner with Nature

Thursday, March 17th, 2016
Master Naturalists in their element. Photo courtesy Texas Master Naturalists' Facebook Page

Master Naturalists in their element. Photo courtesy Texas Master Naturalists’ Facebook Page

This is Passport to Texas

When you’re a certified Texas Master Naturalist you learn to understand the natural world and share it with others. Writer, Sheryl Smith Rogers, says increasing public awareness about the nature benefits everyone.

You know, our state’s undergoing so much growth, and we’re losing so much of our natural ecosystems to subdivisions and shopping centers. People like master naturalists who have more of an awareness of how important those elements are to our overall lifestyle, they’re going to share what they know with others and just raise awareness that we need to protect these areas.

Master Naturalists undergo weeks of training, says Smith Rogers, who, herself, is a certified Master Naturalist.

The classes cover geology, native grasses… Last spring I took my training from March into May. We went to different places. You don’t just sit in a classroom. You have field outings; you go out and actually look at the native grasses. We went to Jacob’s Well near Wimberley and talked about hydrology. You just cover a whole lot of different topics.

Once certified, citizens volunteer in their communities. There are more than 40 chapters statewide. Find more information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Texas Master Naturalists

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016


Become a Texas Master Naturalist,

Become a Texas Master Naturalist,

This is Passport to Texas

They say you never forget your first love. For writer Sheryl Smith Rogers, her first love had eight legs.

Spiders are my first love, and from there I grew into plants and animals.

Eager to fully understand the natural world around her, Smith Rogers completed Texas Master Naturalist training.

I’m with the Highland lakes chapter, which is based out of Burnet. So you learn about your own ecosystems in your region. I’m learning about the plants that are indigenous to this area. Whereas, if you live on the coast, you’ll be learning about those kinds of plants. So, we’re all learning what’s important to our

Trainees learn about living things in their ecosystem, as well as their region’s geology, hydrology and more. After receiving certification, Smith Rogers says Master Naturalists volunteer in their communities where needed.

Volunteers go to ranches and survey the plant species, and they offer land management advice. In a city, volunteers might go into a city park and create a butterfly garden. For instance, here in Blanco – at Blanco State Park – the Master Naturalists help put on program every May for third graders. They do so
many different things [laughs].

Find details on becoming a master Naturalist on the Texas parks and Wildlife Website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife … I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Nature: Becoming a Master Naturalist

Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Volunteer planting pine trees.

Planting pine trees at Bastrop State Park after the wildfire. Photo courtesy Texas Master Naturalist Facebook Page.

This is Passport to Texas

There’s a training program for people with a passion for nature. It’s called the Texas Master Naturalist Program.

19— The Texas Master Naturalist Program is a volunteer based training program; we develop a corps of well-informed volunteers that provide education, outreach and service around the state in the beneficial management of natural resources and the natural areas within Texas.

Mary Pearl Meuth is assistant state program coordinator. They train roughly 700 volunteers annually, and have sessions this spring in 16 of their 44 chapters.

15— Our curriculum that is used for the training, has 26 chapters in it. So, they march through those 26 chapters all with a large context of the state of Texas, but then developed even more within their local ecosystem.

Once trained, volunteers provide 40 hours of community outreach, and take 8 hours of advanced training annually. The program’s not just about taking or facilitating classes. It’s also about discovery.

08—Quite a few of our Master Naturalists have identified new species of plants or new species of animals located within the state of Texas.

Are you ready to help Mother Nature? Consider the Texas Master Naturalist program; training sessions starting soon. Learn more at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Nature: The Value of Master Naturalists to Texas

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015


Master Naturalist volunteering at Coastal Expo

Master Naturalist volunteering at Coastal Expo

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension are principal sponsors of the Texas Master Naturalist Program. This program trains volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources where they live.

08— Our master naturalists are able to give back to these partners both through their volunteer service and through their contributions on other ways.

Mary Pearl Meuth with Texas Agrilife Extension is assistant state program coordinator. She says what the more than 9-thousand trained volunteers have given back to the state since the program’s inception in 1997 is phenomenal.

12—Texas Parks and Wildlife values the over 2.4 million service hours that have been given back over the 15 year history of the program to at more than 54-million dollars for the state of Texas.

The Texas Master Naturalist Program trains roughly 700 volunteers annually statewide. And new training programs are starting up this spring among 16 of the program’s more than 40 chapters.

08—And these 16 chapters are located around the state, offering trainings at different points of the week, and different times of the day.

Tomorrow: training, teaching and discovering with the Texas Master Naturalist program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti